Group Product Supervisor vs. Principal Product Supervisor: What’s The Distinction?

Curious to know methods to advance your profession as a long-term product supervisor as both s group product supervisor or principal product supervisor?

Then look no additional.

Product managers are accountable for establishing a product’s imaginative and prescient and long-term enterprise technique whereas making certain that every one stakeholders are conscious of mentioned technique. Whereas it’s a senior place, there are quite a few profession paths, resembling Group Product Supervisor (GPM) and Principal Product Supervisor (PPM). 

However what distinguishes these roles from one another? How do you identify which path is best for you?

On this article, we define the variations between a bunch product supervisor and a principal product supervisor, whereas exploring intimately the obligations, salaries, expertise, profession path trajectory, and certifications for every function.

Let’s dive proper into the dialogue.

Group Product Supervisor vs. Principal Product Supervisor: What Do They Do?

One of many major variations between the group product supervisor place and the principal product supervisor function, is the capability through which they contribute to the product administration workforce.

On the one hand, principal product managers are Particular person Contributors (IC). Which means that though they maintain a senior place inside the group and contribute to the corporate’s targets, they don’t have any obligations because it pertains to administration.

However, group product managers assume a extra direct function inside administration as a result of they’re accountable for managing different members all through the group. They be certain that the varied groups stay heading in the right direction towards attaining the corporate’s goals.

Every profession monitor is out there to product managers and are depending on aspirations, expertise, and a deep understanding of the first obligations. Let’s discover these obligations beneath.

What Does A Group Product Supervisor Do?

Inside this management function, group product managers oversee the event of a bunch of merchandise from the start, to its testing levels and eventual product launch onto the market. This allows them to determine and mitigate any dangers that come up.

Since we take into account this place to be on the administration profession monitor, group product managers have a accountability towards managing product groups. This contains the event and assessment of the product roadmap to information the product workforce towards attaining the corporate’s goals.

Group product managers typically collaborate with inside groups on the event and updating of merchandise in order that they continue to be aggressive in the marketplace and earn income in accordance with the targets of the group. Having alignment throughout all product groups is important to their success. It additionally helps that group product managers create documentation that outlines the product imaginative and prescient and necessities.

One of many main goals of any product technique is to fulfill buyer satisfaction. As a bunch product supervisor, it’s essential to spearhead the person analysis (for instance through focus teams) to determine alternatives for product enchancment by soliciting suggestions that in the long run, helps to grasp the client wants.

Though the purchasers are sometimes on the forefront, the group product supervisor is within the superb place to speak with stakeholders and higher administration and on the identical time, supervise and prepare junior members of the product workforce, ensuring to handle any of their issues.

What Does A Principal Product Supervisor Do?

Principal product managers don’t oversee the day-to-day operations and administration of product groups, which we affiliate with senior positions. Their obligations middle on the basics of the product imaginative and prescient and product technique. They do, nonetheless, collaborate with product groups when creating methods and resolving points that have an effect on effectivity and profitability.

On the helm of the principal product supervisor’s obligations is supervising the essential features of the product roadmap. These are inclusive of the product workforce goals, the product imaginative and prescient or finish objective towards which the workforce works and the efforts or duties that the groups full to make sure the achievement of the imaginative and prescient. The principal product supervisor then shares the contents of the roadmap to the varied advertising and marketing, design, and engineering groups.

One other accountability is making certain that there’s alignment between the product technique and key stakeholders by coaching them methods to handle and prioritize their product backlogs. To this finish, principal product managers foster collaboration among the many related groups, resembling product leaders, and advertising and marketing and improvement managers.

On the exterior stage, principal product managers characterize the voice of the purchasers. They collaborate with analysis and advertising and marketing groups to grasp buyer wants and forecast their calls for whereas discovering viable options to their ache factors.

It is usually the responsibility of the principal product supervisor to investigate advanced enterprise instances and metrics to find out product feasibility, function prioritization, and the general return on funding (ROI).

How Do Group Product Managers and Principal Product Managers Work Collectively?

Group product managers and principal product managers are each senior-level roles. Subsequently, they typically collaborate on completely different steps all through the product administration ladder to make sure the profitable completion of enterprise necessities. 

It’s protected to say that normally, product managers don’t construct merchandise on their very own. They’re, largely, accountable for organizing sure parts of the method. For instance, conducting person analysis and translating the corporate’s methods and goals into product roadmaps. As such, they depend on different workforce members to satisfy different duties within the backlog resembling writing code or billing the purchasers.

This alternate of data is proof of cross-functional workforce collaboration, a key tenet of product administration. The product supervisor communicates the precise product necessities and potential outcomes as per the client’s preferences, making certain the accuracy of the product lifecycle from its inception to launch onto the market. 

With a view to foster wholesome relationships throughout the product groups, group product managers and principal product managers consider constructing belief amongst groups and utilizing their optimistic affect to drive the product ahead. Combining their expertise of managing folks and being particular person contributors, the cross-functional workforce has the information and scope to construct, have interaction in product advertising and marketing, measure function effectiveness, and supply buyer help.

Given the vary of obligations right here, the everyday construction of product groups is inclusive of representatives from a number of departments: engineering, finance, authorized, advertising and marketing, mission administration, gross sales, and help. By collaborating to this extent, product managers encourage innovation, various views, and shorter improvement cycles.

In essence, group product managers and principal product managers work collectively through the use of inspiring and efficient management to domesticate a collaborative work surroundings for product groups.

Who Earns Extra: Group Product Supervisor or Principal Product Supervisor?

In keeping with Glassdoor, the common wage of a bunch product supervisor in the US within the yr 2022 is $164,768 per yr. This complete accounts for a median annual base pay of $143,798 with estimates of further pay totaling $20,970. Further pay on this occasion accounts for money bonuses, commissions, revenue sharing, and ideas. Take notice that, normally, the general wage ranges from $124,000 to $224,000, representing a respective 25% and 75% of pay information.

Quite the opposite, Zippia experiences that group product managers earn $155,050 per yr on common ($74.54 per hour), including that the underside 10% earns $112,000 on an annual foundation whereas the highest 10% earns $213,000.

Zippia additionally estimates that principal product managers earn $145,943 per yr on common ($70.16 per hour) with the underside 10% incomes $106,000 whereas the highest 10% earns $199,000.

In distinction, PayScale experiences that the common base wage for a principal product supervisor is $152,849 ($45.00 per hour). The bottom compensation ranges from $117,000 (backside 10%) to $186,000 (prime 90%) and excludes bonuses and revenue sharing.

From these statistics, we deduce that the group product supervisor has extra incomes potential compared to the principal product supervisor. 

You will need to notice that a significant factor that impacts these salaries is the situation. The highest 5 highest-paying states are California, Washington, Rhode Island, Alaska, and Oregon. Different elements that decide compensation charges embrace schooling, certifications, further expertise, and the entire variety of years of expertise as a product supervisor.

Changing into A Group Product Supervisor vs. Principal Product Supervisor

Let’s look at the profession trajectory of every product administration monitor beneath:

Profession Path

The everyday profession path of each the group product supervisor and principal product supervisor is as follows:

  1. Affiliate Product Supervisor
  2. Product Supervisor
  3. Senior Product Supervisor
  4. Product Lead
  5. Group Product Supervisor or Principal Product Supervisor
  6. Director of Product
  7. VP of Product
  8. Chief Product Officer

The first distinction is whether or not you aspire towards managing folks (GPM) or contributing to the day-to-day operations (PPM).


Advancing as a bunch product supervisor requires the next expertise:

  • Communication expertise
  • Management expertise
  • Analytical expertise
  • Product information
  • Product administration expertise
  • Information of enterprise points

To progress as a principal product supervisor, it is very important have the next expertise:

  • Interpersonal expertise
  • Communication expertise
  • Analytical expertise
  • Prioritization expertise
  • Technical experience
  • Product information


Lengthy-term profession success relies upon persevering with schooling. Though having a college diploma just isn’t a necessity in product administration, there’s a direct connection between furthering your information and transferring up the ranks. 

Listed here are 5 on-line product administration certification assets to think about:

Period: Self-paced

Pricing: $350

Period: Self-paced

Pricing: $399

Period: 8 weeks

Pricing: $4,799 

Period: 8 weeks

Pricing: $4,799

Period: 14 hours

Pricing: Free

Group Product Supervisor vs. Principal Product Supervisor: Key Takeaways

Group product managers and principal product managers are each senior product managers whose obligations differ because it pertains to their administration processes. The group product supervisor profession monitor facilities on folks administration obligations whereas the Principal Product Supervisor profession monitor focuses on particular person contribution obligations.

Regardless of the disparity with their compensation, they’re each a part of a cross-functional product workforce and make the most of each technical and extra smooth expertise to ascertain and keep a product technique that capabilities in accordance with the product roadmap. 

Josh Fechter

Josh Fechter is the co-founder of Product HQ, founding father of Technical Author HQ, and founder and head of product of Squibler. You possibly can join with him on LinkedIn right here.

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